Chapter One

He supposed that it was to be expected, what with staying on at Dalton. It wasn't a bad situation, really. Crawford Country was just over the road – a five minute walk – and perfect for the seniors who so leant that way. And Blaine Anderson did have good friends at Crawford, but because of his sexuality, he didn't really care for any of them the way the majority of the others did.

Dalton was quite a daunting school, if you'd only ever looked at it. Consisting of four large buildings – one for arts, one for sciences, a residential one and one for regular classrooms – along with a medium-sized hall, it would make anyone balk on first appearance. But once you realised that the neo-Gothic buildings had all been built from one blueprint, it took a week to learn how to navigate the confusing passageways.

The uniform was one of the generic red and blue striped tie, navy blazer with the red school crest and grey trousers. It wasn't that bad, but any uniform could get boring after a while. Dalton and Crawford were both good schools, and it was very rare for someone to leave before their senior year.

He'd joined the school in freshman year, like most boys. And his best friend straight away, from the very first week, was Kurt Hummel. At the start, it hadn't been that he was attracted to Kurt – though it definitely developed into that – it was just that he liked Kurt as a person. And, after all, the best relationships developed from a strong friendship, right?

Kurt had known from the start, and that was partly why they remained such good friends. Some members of the year weren't Kurt's favourite people, because of the whole gay thing - and his unusually high-pitched voice probably didn't help him either - but Blaine honestly didn't care. He didn't care, even though he was perfectly aware that he was potentially liked that way by Kurt.

But, at the same time, it didn't really come as a surprise to Blaine when Kurt came out to him in sophomore year. In a way, it made him feel a little relieved that at least he had one friend, even if it was just one, that understood and that would never turn on him, no matter what.

The posters all claimed 'SENIOR PROM'. They'd gone up everywhere around Dalton. It was all anyone would talk about – who was taking whom, and any consequent dramas surrounding that. In Blaine's opinion, proms and dances were too much unnecessary work and stress. They had enough going on, what with all the finals and qualifying exams and all of that they had to learn in about five months. Why add onto that with worrying about who liked you, who didn't, and who would say yes to going with you?

It wasn't hard for Blaine. There was only one option for him to choose. He didn't know anyone else who was gay – there was Wes and David, of course, but they were already going out, and there was no one going near that – and other than them, it would just be awkward to presume someone who was straight was gay.

There was always Kurt, but… he was a little iffy about asking Kurt, just in case.

In the end, it was Kurt who asked him. He hadn't even realised that Kurt liked him. He'd just tugged Blaine by the arm and taken him over to a quiet corner in the commons.

"So, this prom thing…" Kurt had said.

"Yeah… you going with anyone?"

"That's kinda what I wanted to talk to you about. I was… I was wondering if…" Kurt cleared his throat, and the anxiety was tangible. "I was wondering if maybe… you wanted to go… with… with me? I mean, I understand if you don't want to, but…"

Before Kurt could say anything else, Blaine leaned down and gently pressed his lips to Kurt's. After a moment, he pulled away slowly, but kept his forehead leaning against Kurt's.

"So… that's a yes?"

"That's a yes." Blaine grinned, leaning in to kiss him again.

It was strange, the surrealism in which the fortnight before the prom passed. On the one hand, there were the furtive glances Kurt and Blaine exchanged in the corridors during school (they weren't telling anyone about the arrangement; not just yet, at least), but there was also school to envelope and occupy them.

Dalton was such a grossly academic school, and then of course, there was the fact that they were studying to get enough credits for graduation and to get into ideal colleges. That kept you busy enough, without having to make preparations for the prom.

But, busy and stressed or not, time still slowly crept on, and the Saturday of the prom was still on them. Seeing as Dalton was a termly boarding school, the entire senior year had congregated to the commons, and all anyone was doing was getting ready for the prom. After all, it had consequences.

The ones who already had girlfriends needed this to go well, to avoid risking the relationship, and those who had a date but no girlfriend were looking at a potential relationship. It was a stressful night. (And then there was Wes and David, but he knew you had to let those two just float along in their own little world, because if you didn't, it would fare an awful lot worse for you.)

Thad and Trent didn't help, either. Events Officers was what Dalton called them, although it really was just a chance for them to boss everyone around. They co-ordinated everything, every dance, every charity event, every concert and every performance in the school. And they were the only boys in the school without a date.

So while everyone worried about getting ready for the prom, they rushed around the school with their clipboards and pencils, and stacks and stacks of paper, ticking everything off to make sure it'd all go smoothly. They'd dart in and out of the commons, going around everyone just to make sure, and annoying pretty much anyone in the process.

Blaine, very proud of himself for doing so, managed to block most of the kerfuffle out. It didn't really matter what came out of the dance, because he'd still have his best friend, either way. If the worst came to the worst, they might be mad at each other for a few days, or for a week or two, but it'd all settle down eventually.

And when it got too loud and the commotion and stress about that evening became just too much for his sanity to bear, Blaine just snuck out to the café down the road and got himself a pain au raisin, sat in his dorm and enjoyed his breakfast in peaceful silence.